Depicting the Miami Heat's arena if it were sponsored by FTX
BITCOIN & CRYPTO

FTX Could Be the First Crypto Company with Sports Arena Name Rights. They Won’t Be the Last.

The cryptocurrency exchange is in talks to buy the sponsorship rights for the home of the Miami Heat. And it’s likely the start of a serious trend.

The cryptocurrency exchange FTX is currently progressing toward making a major splash in sports. They aim to acquire naming rights for the downtown arena that hosts the Miami Heat.

The discussions, first reported by the Miami Herald, are ongoing with Miami-Dade County, the owner of what is currently known as American Airlines Arena. If approved, it would make FTX the first name from the cryptocurrency world to sponsor a major professional sports venue in the United States.

And you can bet that they won’t be the last.

This is merely the latest evidence that the NBA and NBPA have welcomed cryptocurrency with open arms. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently announced that the franchise will begin accepting Dogecoin among other cryptos as a method of payment. Via a licensing agreement, the league and the players union have also shared in the successes of blockchain-based NBA Top Shot, which has surpassed $350 million in sales of its digital collectible Moments.

According to the Herald report, Miami-Dade County has struggled to find an arena sponsor for the defending Eastern Conference champions, with many of the would-be candidates struggling due to the pandemic.

Though the venue is still officially named for American Airlines, the company’s deal with the county actually expired at the end of 2019. Since then, the Miami Heat have been entitled to send Miami-Dade County an annual bill for $2 million to make up for the lost revenue.

Enter FTX, which is riding some healthy buzz thanks to the continued normalization of bitcoin as a widely-accepted currency, as well as the growth of their own “FTT Token” that’s the basis for the company’s exchange.

With the county at risk of potentially having to pay out of pocket again, this could be the perfect time for an up-and-coming name like FTX to break through.

Details are yet to be determined as to a hard dollar figure for the potential deal, but recent reports have suggested that Heat arena naming rights would be market-valued at more than just the $2 million American Airlines paid per year. If and when this thing goes final, it will be the strongest evidence yet that the NBA is in the cryptocurrency game for the long haul.